Dave Jolicoeur aka “Trugoy The Dove” of De La Soul died at age 54 on February 12th. De La Soul emerged with “Me, Myself and I” in 1989 and it set off the debate in rap about sampling and gave George Clinton’s career a second life thanks to their use of Funkadelic’s “(Not Just) Knee Deep.” Music critics and fans wondered if rap was really creative because sampling was thought of as simply taking from another artist. Prince Paul exclusively produced their debut album 3 Feet High & Rising and he showed how sampling was an art with a collage style that used eclectic sound sources. He also pioneered the usage of entertaining skits. The group’s positive image and distinct sound were in great contrast to the gangsta rap rising on the scene. They were mavericks that got labeled as hippies because they announced the D.A.I.S.Y. Age but their poetic swag was a nucleus for jazz-influenced hip-hop and what some music publications called progressive rap.
Their music was similar to the sounds of their Native Tongue posse which included like-minded artists including The Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, Monie Love, Black Sheep and Chi-Ali. 3 Feet High & Rising was the bohemian watershed moment in hip-hop and is acknowledged by fans and critics as one of the greatest and most influential albums in music. The group got better with their sophomore album De La Soul Is Dead and did one of the rarest things by addressing topics like crack addiction and child molestation. The group’s most recent album was their 2016 ninth studio album And The Anonymous Nobody.
Trugoy the Dove worked on Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz project in 2005 to co-write the song “Feel Good Inc.” The 2017 De La Soul Gorillaz collaboration on the song “Momentz” earned them their only Grammy. Trugoy publicly revealed his battle with heart failure in 2017. De La Soul had been in the news because of their dispute with Tommy Boy Records over the low payout for streaming their music. They finally came to an agreement and their catalog is scheduled to be available on various platforms on March 3, 2023. De La Soul performed at The Grammys this year for the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop segment but Trugoy the Dove was not present.